Dr. Reardon on Efficacy/Safety of Immunotherapy Combination in Glioblastoma

David A. Reardon, MD
Published: Friday, Aug 31, 2018



David A. Reardon, MD, clinical director, Neuro-Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the safety and efficacy of an immunotherapy combination for patients with glioblastoma. He presented phase II data at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting.

The study looked at pembrolizumab (Keytruda) alone or pembrolizumab plus bevacizumab (Avastin) for the treatment of patients with recurrent glioblastoma. Reardon highlighted the importance of toxicity when it comes to treating this disease, citing the nature of brain cancer. He says the safety signals were comparable with what’s been previously seen for pembrolizumab across different cancer types. For the combination, some side effects specific to bevacizumab were seen, such as hypertension and mild fatigue. In terms of toxicity, Reardon says, this study showed that the combination could be used safely.

For efficacy, single-agent pembrolizumab had very little activity, and only a small portion of patients remained on the PD-1 inhibitor alone for more than 6 months. In the combination, the FDA-approved dose of bevacizumab was utilized. Data showed no benefit to the addition of bevacizumab. It was a disappointing study overall, Reardon adds.


David A. Reardon, MD, clinical director, Neuro-Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the safety and efficacy of an immunotherapy combination for patients with glioblastoma. He presented phase II data at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting.

The study looked at pembrolizumab (Keytruda) alone or pembrolizumab plus bevacizumab (Avastin) for the treatment of patients with recurrent glioblastoma. Reardon highlighted the importance of toxicity when it comes to treating this disease, citing the nature of brain cancer. He says the safety signals were comparable with what’s been previously seen for pembrolizumab across different cancer types. For the combination, some side effects specific to bevacizumab were seen, such as hypertension and mild fatigue. In terms of toxicity, Reardon says, this study showed that the combination could be used safely.

For efficacy, single-agent pembrolizumab had very little activity, and only a small portion of patients remained on the PD-1 inhibitor alone for more than 6 months. In the combination, the FDA-approved dose of bevacizumab was utilized. Data showed no benefit to the addition of bevacizumab. It was a disappointing study overall, Reardon adds.



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